A Poem in Honor of Spring

Pear BlossomsI don’t know about you, but we are getting tired of winter’s bitter cold and snow assaulting us here in New York City.
To encourage warmer weather we offer below a poem from the anthology Beyond Spring: Tz’u poems of the Sung Dynasty, translated by Julie Landau.

P’o chen tzu

The day the swallows come, spring begins
After the pear blossoms fall, it’s Ch’ing-ming*
On the pond a few specks of green
Under the leaves, the yellow oriole tries a note or two
All day long the catkins fly

The girl from next door comes giggling
We meet picking mulberry leaves along the path
No wonder I had such a good spring dream last night –
Today my fighting grass beats hers
Smiles grow on both cheeks

By Yen Shu (991-1055)

*Ch’ing ming is a festival devoted to sweeping the graves of the ancestors and going into the country to enjoy nature.

Take a look at other titles also in the Translations from the Asian Classics series here.

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